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#ORPH Open Orphan – Omicron human challenge model

  Vaxart becomes the first client of the programme to test its oral COVID-19 vaccine candidate

Open Orphan plc (AIM: ORPH), a rapidly growing specialist contract research organisation (CRO) and world leader in testing infectious and respiratory disease products using human challenge clinical trials, announces that  hVIVO , a subsidiary of Open Orphan, is developing the world’s first Omicron human challenge model. hVIVO has signed an agreement with Vaxart Inc. (“Vaxart”), (NASDAQ: VXRT) to develop the model with the intent to conduct a subsequent Omicron human challenge study in 2023 to test the efficacy of Vaxart’s oral vaccine candidate, VXA-CoV2-1.

 

To develop the model, hVIVO will manufacture a new SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) challenge agent based on the Omicron variant. The Good Manufacturing Practice (“GMP”) compliant virus manufacturing activities will commence immediately and are expected to complete by Q4 2022. Following manufacture of the challenge agent, the Company intends to conduct a characterisation study. Subject to the successful completion of the characterisation study and receipt of relevant regulatory approvals, hVIVO expects to conduct Omicron human challenge studies in 2023.

The characterisation study will establish a dose of the Omicron challenge agent that will cause a safe and reliable infection in healthy volunteers. The study will enrol healthy male and female volunteers who have previously been vaccinated against or infected with SARS-CoV-2, with no known risk factors for severe COVID-19 and low levels of serum neutralising antibodies (and therefore still likely to become infected following inoculation).

hVIVO has two decades of experience and expertise in challenge agent manufacture and clinical characterisation across a range of respiratory viruses including various strains of influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), human rhinovirus (hRV – common cold virus), as well as the initial circulating SARS-CoV-2 virus and variants which have since emerged. hVIVO leads the Challenge Agent Manufacture Consortium, which has developed international standards that pertain to challenge agent manufacture and storage, to ensure safety, quality and consistency.

Yamin Khan, Chief Executive Officer of Open Orphan, said: “With our leading end-to-end human challenge expertise, we are delighted to be developing the world’s first Omicron human challenge model and to welcome Vaxart as the first client of this programme.

“hVIVO’s fight against the pandemic continues with the development of this new challenge agent. The benefits to Vaxart are immense, and we have already been contacted by a number of biopharma companies looking to test the efficacy of their products using this challenge virus. I have no doubt that the successful completion of the world’s first COVID-19 characterisation, which was published in Nature Medicine earlier this year, has given our customers the confidence to move forward with the less severe yet more infective Omicron challenge model.”

Dr. James Cummings, Chief Medical Officer of Vaxart, said: “A human challenge study of our oral tablet COVID-19 vaccine candidate against the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 is the most rapid and direct way to assess the efficacy of this candidate against a highly prevalent viral strain.

“hVIVO has pioneered COVID-19 characterization and the Omicron human challenge model, and the use of this model in our planned Phase II human challenge trial will rapidly generate robust, controlled data on the ability of our COVID-19 vaccine candidate to prevent infection and the development of symptomatic disease, as well as its effect on viral shedding, which plays a critical role in the spread of infection from one person to another. The results of this study will inform the next steps in the development of our COVID-19 vaccine candidate, which has the potential to transform personal and public health approaches to controlling the global pandemic.”

Dr Andrew Catchpole, Chief Scientific Officer of hVIVO, said: “The team and I at hVIVO are excited to begin work to manufacture an Omicron challenge agent, the follow-on characterisation, and future human challenge trials. We have unparalleled expertise in SARS-CoV-2 challenge agent manufacturing, having completed work on both the original Wuhan strain and the subsequent Delta variant, in addition to our prior experience in successfully conducting the world’s first COVID-19 characterisation study, and our decades of experience in conducting human challenge trials. We are delighted to be working with Vaxart on this programme and look forward to the opportunity to subsequently test the efficacy of their exciting novel vaccine.”

Interested in becoming a volunteer?

 

hVIVO recruits many of its volunteers for its challenge study clinical trials through its dedicated  volunteer recruitment website,  www.flucamp.com . By volunteering to take part in one of our studies in a safe, controlled, clinical environment under expertly supervised conditions you are playing your part to further medical research and help increase the understanding of respiratory illnesses.

 

For further information please contact:

 

Open Orphan plc

+44 (0) 20 7756 1300

Yamin Khan, Chief Executive Officer

Liberum Capital (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker)

 +44 (0) 20 3100 2000

Ben Cryer/ Edward Mansfield/ Phil Walker/ Will King

finnCap plc (Joint Broker)

+44 (0) 20 7220 0500

Geoff Nash / James Thompson / Richard Chambers

Davy (Euronext Growth Adviser and Joint Broker)

+353 (0) 1 679 6363

Anthony Farrell

Walbrook PR (Financial PR & IR)

Paul McManus / Sam Allen / Louis Ashe-Jepson

+44 (0)20 7933 8780 or  openorphan@walbrookpr.com

+44 (0)7980 541 893 / +44 (0) 7502 558 258 /

+44 (0)7747 515393

#ORPH Open Orphan – Board appointment

Open Orphan plc (AIM: ORPH), a rapidly growing specialist contract research organisation (CRO) and world leader in testing infectious and respiratory disease products using human challenge clinical trials, announces the appointment of Martin Gouldstone as an Independent Non-Executive Director of the Company with effect from 8 June 2022.Martin will also Chair the Audit & Risk Committee and will be a member of the Nominations Committee and the Remuneration Committee.

Martin brings 30 years of corporate development experience in the CRO, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors, holding a number of senior roles at healthcare AI businesses. Martin has expertise in executing multi-billion dollar deals across Europe and the US, architecting end-to-end portfolio out-sourcing deals, and negotiating multi-year research partnerships.

Martin is currently Global SVP, Business Development at Owkin, a French-American start-up using artificial intelligence to discover and develop better treatments for unmet medical needs. Previously, Martin has held the roles of Chief Business Officer at both BenevolentAI and Sensyne Health and was a Partner at Results Healthcare, an international M&A advisory firm, where he co-led the company’s healthcare practice. Prior to this, Martin was Head of Life Sciences for BDO UK LLP, Senior Director responsible for M&A and joint venture opportunities in Europe for Quintiles (now IQVIA), and Business Development and Licensing Lead at Confirmant Ltd, Pharmacopeia Inc, Sareum Ltd.

Martin holds a BSc in Genetics and has completed a range of post graduate management courses.

Yamin ‘Mo’ Khan, Chief Executive Officer of Open Orphan, said: “I am pleased to welcome Martin to the Board of Open Orphan. Martin has extensive corporate development experience in the CRO, healthcare and pharmaceutical sectors and held a number of senior roles in healthcare AI businesses. I look forward to working closely with Martin as we drive further growth across the business.”

Martin Gouldstone, Non-Executive Director, said: “I am delighted to join the Board of Open Orphan at what is an exciting time for the Company and the infectious disease market as it continues to grow significantly post pandemic. I am delighted to bring my previous three decades of experience in the CRO, healthcare and pharmaceutical industry to the Company as it continues to build and expand on partnerships with leading global biopharma companies.”

Regulatory Disclosures

Save for the information set out above and below, there are no further disclosures to be made in accordance with Rule 17, Schedule Two (g) of the AIM Rules for Companies in respect of the appointment of Mr Martin John Gouldstone, aged 55, Martin does not hold an interest in the Company’s share capital.

Current Directorships

Past Directorships

Novara Therapeutics Limited

n.a.

Orthopaedic Research UK

Sempiternum Ltd

For further information please contact:

 

Open Orphan plc

+44 20 7756 1300

Yamin ‘Mo’ Khan, Chief Executive Officer

Liberum Capital (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker)

 +44 (0) 20 3100 2000

Ben Cryer / Edward Mansfield / Phil Walker / Will King

finnCap plc (Joint Broker)

+44 (0) 20 7220 0500

Geoff Nash / James Thompson / Richard Chambers

Davy (Euronext Growth Adviser and Joint Broker)

+353 (0) 1 679 6363

Anthony Farrell

Walbrook PR (Financial PR & IR)

Paul McManus / Sam Allen /

Louis Ashe-Jepson

+44 (0)20 7933 8780 or  openorphan@walbrookpr.com

+44 (0)7980 541 893 / +44 (0) 7502 558 258 /
+44 (0) 7747 515393 

#POLB Poolbeg Pharma – US patents granted for POLB 001 and POLB 002

26 May 2022 – Poolbeg Pharma (AIM: POLB, OTCQB: POLBF, ‘Poolbeg’ or the ‘Company’), a clinical stage infectious disease pharmaceutical company with a unique capital light clinical model, has been granted patents by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for POLB 001, a small molecule immunomodulator for the treatment of severe influenza and POLB 002, a first-in-class, intranasally administered RNA-based immunotherapy for respiratory virus infections.

 

POLB 001

The USPTO granted a patent for the majority of Poolbeg’s claims around the use of certain p38 MAP kinase (mitogen-activated protein kinase) inhibitors for the treatment or prevention of severe influenza and the hypercytokinaemia (or “cytokine storm”) it causes through modulation of the immune response (reducing the body’s hyperinflammatory response to the virus). To further strengthen its position, Poolbeg will pursue a continuation patent application to augment the protection offered by this patent family.

 

Poolbeg holds the worldwide rights to POLB 001 for all uses in humans and as such, is exploring the opportunity to expand its IP around this asset to cover new disease areas which would maximise the value of the asset for partnering purposes.

 

POLB 002

The USPTO granted a patent for the identification of defective interfering (DI) RNA-based influenza viruses for use against infection by influenza, that provides a drug candidate with both antiviral prophylactic and therapeutic applications. By having a dual mechanism of action POLB 002 (which was identified using this method) directly interferes with influenza virus replication blocking disease progression and also triggers nasal cells into an antiviral state . In this way, POLB 002 could provide pan-viral protection from respiratory virus infections including influenza, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), SARS-CoV-2 and others.

 

The Company is continuing working with its patent advisors to broaden and expand the POLB 001 and POLB 002 patent families.

 

Jeremy Skillington, PhD, CEO of Poolbeg Pharma, said:

“The additional US patent protection of POLB 001 and POLB 002 is an important step in the commercialisation of these novel infectious disease products. Enhancing the IP protection of these assets across key markets such as the US increases the overall value of these products to potential partners, particularly as we move closer to the commencement of our POLB 001 LPS human challenge trial next month with data expected by year end and monetisation to commence thereafter.”

 

– Ends –

Enquiries

Poolbeg Pharma Plc

Jeremy Skillington, CEO

Ian O’Connell, CFO

 

 

+44 (0) 207 183 1499

finnCap Ltd (Nominated Adviser & Joint Broker)

Geoff Nash, James Thompson, Charlie Beeson
Richard Chambers, Sunila de Silva (ECM)

 

 

+44 (0) 207 220 0500

Arden Partners PLC (Joint Broker)

John Llewellyn-Lloyd, Louisa Waddell

 

 

+44 (0) 207 614 5900

J&E Davy (Joint Broker)

Anthony Farrell, Niall Gilchrist

 

 

+353 (0) 1 679 6363

Instinctif Partners

Melanie Toyne Sewell, Rozi Morris, Tim Field

 

+44 (0) 20 7457 2020

poolbeg@instinctif.com

#ORPH Open Orphan – Completion of Nominated Adviser due diligence

Open Orphan plc (AIM: ORPH), a rapidly growing specialist contract research organisation (CRO) and world leader in testing infectious and respiratory disease products using human challenge clinical trials, announces that further to the appointment of Liberum Capital Limited (“Liberum”) as its Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker on 28 April 2022, Liberum has confirmed that is has completed its due diligence .

 

For further information please contact:

 

Open Orphan plc

+44 20 7756 1300

Yamin Khan, Chief Executive Officer

Liberum Capital (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker)

  +44 (0) 20 3100 2000

Ben Cryer / Edward Mansfield / Phil Walker / Will King

finnCap plc (Joint Broker)

+44 (0) 20 7220 0500

Geoff Nash / James Thompson / Richard Chambers

Davy (Euronext Growth Adviser and Joint Broker)

+353 (0) 1 679 6363

Anthony Farrell

Walbrook PR (Financial PR & IR)

Paul McManus / Sam Allen /

Louis Ashe-Jepson

+44 (0)20 7933 8780 or openorphan@walbrookpr.com

+44 (0)7980 541 893 / +44 (0) 7502 558 258 /
+44 (0) 7747 515393  

#POLB Poolbeg Pharma – TR-1: Notification of major interest in shares

POLB

TR-1: S tandard form for notification of major holdings

 

NOTIFICATION OF MAJOR HOLDINGS (to be sent to the relevant issuer and to the FCA in Microsoft Word format if possible) i

1a. Identity of the issuer or the underlying issuer of existing shares to which voting rights are attached ii :

Poolbeg Pharma PLC

1b. Please indicate if the issuer is a non-UK issuer   (please mark with an “X” if appropriate)

Non-UK issuer

2. Reason for the notification (please mark the appropriate box or boxes with an “X”)

An acquisition or disposal of voting rights

X

An acquisition or disposal of financial instruments

An event changing the breakdown of voting rights

Other (please specify)iii:

3. Details of person subject to the notification obligation iv

Name

Schroders PLC

City and country of registered office (if applicable)

London , United Kingdom

4. Full name of shareholder(s) (if different from 3.) v

Name

City and country of registered office (if applicable)

5. Date on which the threshold was crossed or reached vi :

18/05/2022

6. Date on which issuer notified (DD/MM/YYYY):

19/05/2022

7. Total positions of person(s) subject to the notification obligation

% of voting rights attached to shares (total of 8. A)

% of voting rights through financial instruments
(total of 8.B 1 + 8.B 2)

Total of both in % (8.A + 8.B)

Total number of voting rights held in issuer vii

Resulting situation on the date on which threshold was crossed or reached

5.128388%

5.128388%

25,641,941.00

Position of previous notification (if

applicable)

Below Reportable Threshold

Below Reportable Threshold

 



 

 

8. Notified details of the resulting situation on the date on which the threshold was crossed or reached viii

A: Voting rights attached to shares

Class/type of
shares

ISIN code (if possible)

Number of voting rights ix

% of voting rights

Direct

(DTR5.1)

Indirect

(DTR5.2.1)

Direct

(DTR5.1)

Indirect

(DTR5.2.1)

GB00BKPG7Z60

25,641,941.00

5.128388%

SUBTOTAL 8. A

25,641,941.00

5.128388%

B 1: Financial Instruments according to DTR5.3.1R (1) (a)

Type of financial instrument

Expiration
date
 x

Exercise/
Conversion Period
 xi

Number of voting rights that may be acquired if the instrument is

exercised/converted.

% of voting rights

SUBTOTAL 8. B 1

B 2: Financial Instruments with similar economic effect according to DTR5.3.1R (1) (b)

Type of financial instrument

Expiration
date
 x

Exercise/
Conversion Period
 xi

Physical or cash

settlement xii

Number of voting rights

% of voting rights

 

SUBTOTAL 8.B.2



9. Information in relation to the person subject to the notification obligation (please mark the

applicable box with an “X”)

Person subject to the notification obligation is not controlled by any natural person or legal entity and does not control any other undertaking(s) holding directly or indirectly an interest in the (underlying) issuer xiii

Full chain of controlled undertakings through which the voting rights and/or the
financial instruments are effectively held starting with the ultimate controlling natural person or legal entity
 xiv (please add additional rows as necessary)

X

Name xv

% of voting rights if it equals or is higher than the notifiable threshold

% of voting rights through financial instruments if it equals or is higher than the notifiable threshold

Total of both if it equals or is higher than the notifiable threshold

Schroders PLC

Schroder Administration Limited

Schroder Wealth Holdings Limited

Schroder & Co. Limited

Schroders PLC

Schroder Administration Limited

Schroder International Holdings Limited

Schroder Investment Management Limited

 

10. In case of proxy voting, please identify:

Name of the proxy holder

The number and % of voting rights held

The date until which the voting rights will be held

11. Additional information xvi

Place of completion

London

Date of completion

19/05/2022

#ORPH Open Orphan – Wellcome publication

Open Orphan plc (AIM: ORPH), a rapidly growing specialist contract research organisation (CRO) and world leader in testing infectious and respiratory disease products using human challenge clinical trials, notes a key considerations document for developing and manufacturing challenge agents published in the Wellcome Open Research Journal co-authored by Alex Mann, Senior Director of Clinical Research of hVIVOand the project lead, a subsidiary of Open Orphan plc, titled ‘Considerations on the Principles of Development and Manufacturing Qualities of Challenge Agents For Use In Human Infection Models’.

The project was funded by the Wellcome Trust and HIC-Vac, an international network of researchers who are developing human infection challenge (HIC) studies to accelerate the development of vaccines, based at Imperial College London. The considerations document was prepared by an hVIVO led consortium, involving engagement with global experts in the human challenge field and manufacturing. It outlines the key aspects of the development, characterisation and manufacture of infectious challenge agents. The aim of the document is to promote volunteer safety whilst maximising access to challenge agents and challenge models in low-income or middle-income countries (LMICs) and academic institutions globally.

It is hoped that these considerations will be used across high-, middle- and low-income countries for the safe production of challenge agents by trained personnel with appropriate facilities, quality control measures and other best practices.

The increase in human challenge studies being established in LMICs and the need for challenge agents to reflect naturally occurring and epidemiologically relevant pathogen strains means there is an increased likelihood that they will be manufactured in conditions where full Good Manufacturing Practice (“GMP”) is not possible. This document fills the previous gap of clear guidance on the minimum requirements for high-quality and safe manufacture outside of GMP facilities.

Challenge agents are the viruses, parasites, bacteria used in human challenge trials that volunteers are purposely challenged with. Depending on the design of the trial, the volunteers may or may not be administered a trial drug candidate before or after being exposed to the challenge agent to provide early proof of concept, allowing the candidate to progress more quickly to phase II or phase III trials.

Wellcome Open Research provides all Wellcome researchers with a place to rapidly publish any results they think are worth sharing. All articles benefit from rapid publication, transparent peer review and editorial guidance on making all source data openly available.

Yamin Khan, Chief Executive Officer of Open Orphan, said:  “As the world leader in conducting human challenge studies I am delighted that Open Orphan continues to play a key role in democratising access to human challenge trials. This latest document provides clear considerations for challenge agent manufacturing, where previously a gap existed regarding the minimum requirements for high-quality safe manufacture outside of GMP facilities. Human challenge trials have clear advantages over traditional clinical field trials, and their global adoption will be vital to progressing the development of vaccines and anti-infectives around the world.”

 

Alex Mann, Project leader and Senior Director, Clinical Science at hVIVO, said: “I was pleased to co-author the considerations document and the associated summary publication in collaboration with the Wellcome Trust and HIC-Vac, that recommends key aspects for researchers to consider for challenge agent development and manufacturing. In recent years, there has been an increase in human challenge studies in low- or middle-income countries where GMP facilities are not readily available. This document will support the development, characterisation and manufacture of challenge agents in these settings, while also maximising volunteer safety and access to challenge agents and challenge models.”

 

Shobana Balasingam, Research Lead in Infectious Disease Prevention at Wellcome, said: “The guidance to manufacture safe and effective challenge agents under GMP conditions differs globally and is not always feasible, which can slow down vital research, particularly in low- and middle-income countries where this research is often most-needed. However, guidelines for manufacturing outside of GMP facilities are not currently available.

 

“As funders of global infectious disease research, Wellcome are please to support this clear and practical document for developing challenge agents where GMP is not possible. This guidance can ensure the full potential of human infection studies around the world, which provide crucial insight into infectious diseases, helping to rapidly accelerate the development of vaccines.”

 

An editorial will be published alongside the report: ‘Considerations on the Principles of Development and Manufacturing Qualities of Challenge Agents For Use In Human Infection Models’ by Shobana Balasingam, Sarah Meillon, Cecilia Chui, Alex Mann, Carine La, Charlie Weller, Debbie King and Emma Smith. Available in Wellcome Open Research. DOI: https://doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.17869.1

 

Interested in becoming a volunteer?

 

hVIVO recruits many of its volunteers for its challenge study clinical trials through its dedicated  volunteer recruitment website,  www.flucamp.com . By volunteering to take part in one of our studies in a safe, controlled, clinical environment under expertly supervised conditions you are playing your part to further medical research and help increase the understanding of respiratory illnesses.

 

 

For further information please contact:

 

Open Orphan plc

+353 (0) 1 644 0007

Yamin Khan, Chief Executive Officer

Liberum Capital (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker)

 +44 (0) 20 3100 2000

Ben Cryer/ Edward Mansfield/ Phil Walker/ Will King

 

finnCap plc (Joint Broker)

+44 (0) 20 7220 0500

Geoff Nash / James Thompson / Richard Chambers

 

Davy (Euronext Growth Adviser and Joint Broker)

+353 (0) 1 679 6363

Anthony Farrell

 

Walbrook PR (Financial PR & IR)

Paul McManus / Sam Allen / Louis Ashe-Jepson

+44 (0)20 7933 8780 or  openorphan@walbrookpr.com

+44 (0)7980 541 893 / +44 (0) 7502 558 258 /

+44 (0)7747 515393

#POLB Poolbeg Pharma – GMP manufacturing contract signed

Poolbeg Pharma (AIM: POLB, OTCQB: POLBF, ‘Poolbeg’ or the ‘Company’), a clinical stage infectious disease pharmaceutical company with a unique capital light clinical model, announces an update on its lead asset, POLB 001, a small molecule immunomodulator which aims to address a significant unmet need in severe influenza. The Company has signed a contract for GMP manufacturing, ensuring ample supply of GMP grade POLB 001 for use in its upcoming LPS human challenge clinical trial, due to commence in June 2022, and for use in investigating POLB 001 as a treatment for other disease indications.

 

POLB 001 has potential therapeutic applications beyond severe influenza, due to its mode of action of reducing hyperinflammation which is linked with many diseases. This is when harmful inflammation occurs in different areas of the body, such as the heart and lungs, causing organ damage.  POLB 001 can block this from happening. The Company holds the worldwide rights to POLB 001 for all uses in humans and as such, is in a position to expand its IP around this asset to cover new disease areas which greatly increases the value of the program for partnering purposes. Following receipt of the results from the upcoming bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) human challenge trial, the Company aims to rapidly monetise POLB 001 by partnering or out licensing the product to pharma / biotech for further development and commercialization.

 

The GMP manufacturing of the product began in late 2021 to ensure that sufficient grade and quantities of the product is available for use in the forthcoming human challenge trial which is due to commence in June 2022, with first results expected before the end of the year. The Company now has a validated manufacturing process for the development of the product for use in its clinical development for multiple disease areas.

 

The Company signed the Clinical Trial Agreement with the Centre for Human Drug Research (CHDR) in March 2022 for the upcoming LPS human challenge study. As part of the study, which is being completed in line with the Company’s capital light approach, researchers will stimulate healthy volunteers’ immune systems with LPS which triggers a robust immune response acting as a simulant for the hyperinflammatory effects associated with severe influenza infections, as well as other diseases. The study will provide key human data on the efficacy of POLB 001 in dampening the immune response in otherwise healthy volunteers.

 

Jeremy Skillington, PhD, CEO of Poolbeg Pharma said: “Preparations for the upcoming clinical trial of our lead asset, POLB 001, are progressing well and we are delighted to have executed a GMP manufacturing contract ensuring ample supply of POLB 001 for use in its clinical development for severe influenza and beyond.

 

With a mode of action which reduces the body’s hyperinflammatory response, POLB 001 has the potential to address several disease indications beyond severe influenza, and with our exclusive license for all human uses this could provide Poolbeg with the opportunity to greatly increase the value of the program for partnering and monetisation of POLB 001 to pharma or biotech companies.”

 

Note: Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) is the regulatory code of standards that a medicine’s manufacturer must meet in its production processes to enable administration to humans.

– Ends –

 

Enquiries

Poolbeg Pharma Plc

Jeremy Skillington, CEO

Ian O’Connell, CFO

 

+44 (0) 207 183 1499

finnCap Ltd (Nominated Adviser & Joint Broker)

Geoff Nash, James Thompson, Charlie Beeson
Richard Chambers, Sunila de Silva (ECM)

 

+44 (0) 207 220 0500

Arden Partners PLC (Joint Broker)

John Llewellyn-Lloyd, Louisa Waddell

 

+44 (0) 207 614 5900

J&E Davy (Joint Broker)

Anthony Farrell, Niall Gilchrist

 

+353 (0) 1 679 6363

Instinctif Partners

Melanie Toyne Sewell, Rozi Morris, Tim Field

 

+44 (0) 20 7457 2020

poolbeg@instinctif.com

#ORPH Open Orphan – Vaccine field study contract

Open Orphan plc (AIM: ORPH), a rapidly growing specialist contract research organisation (CRO) and world leader in testing infectious and respiratory disease products using human challenge clinical trials, announces that hVIVO , a subsidiary of Open Orphan, has been awarded a new study with an existing Big Pharma client to act as a vaccination site for a Phase II field study of the client’s respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccine candidate.

 

As part of the study, hVIVO will recruit 60 healthy volunteers to the Company’s new site clinic at Plumbers Row, where they will then be inoculated with either the RSV vaccine candidate or a placebo. As opposed to a human challenge study, where volunteers would then be challenged and quarantined within hVIVO’s FluCamp facilities, these participants will then be free to leave the facilities. Participants will then be monitored for RSV symptoms over the following months, with regular clinical check-ups at Plumbers Row, to assess the efficacy of the vaccine candidate and its ability to prevent illness through RSV. The study is expected to begin in Q3 2022 with the majority of revenue from the contract recognised in 2023.

 

This is the first vaccine field study the Company has been awarded since it announced the expansion of its facilities on 8 March 2022 . In addition to the core human challenge studies the expansion has enabled Open Orphan to provide a larger service offering including non-first in human Phase I trials such as PK (pharmacokinetics) studies, bridging studies and Phase II trials in patients and healthy volunteers.  

 

The volunteers for the study will be recruited through the Company’s specialist volunteer recruitment arm, FluCamp . FluCamp has decades of experience attracting suitable healthy subjects to meet recruitment requirements, primarily sourcing subjects for hVIVO trials to date. FluCamp’s large database, tech-enabled platform and recently improved screening capabilities will mean that hVIVO is able to efficiently recruit and assess potential volunteers for its client’s field studies in a timely and cost-effective manner.

 

Yamin ‘Mo’ Khan, Chief Executive Officer of Open Orphan, said : “This is a significant award for Open Orphan as it is our first study as a site. To date we have mainly acted as a Contract Research Organisation to provide either challenge studies, laboratory or consulting services. Although we have acted as a site as part of the challenge studies, we have not provided stand-alone site services.  We expanded our facilities at Plumbers Row in March of this year with the aim to provide site services. It is a great testament to the team that they have been able to fulfil site activity work in such a short timeframe. There are a great number of synergies between our core challenge study activities and new the site services, this will help us to conduct the new work in an efficient manner.”

 

Interested in becoming a volunteer?

 

hVIVO recruits many of its volunteers for its challenge study clinical trials through its dedicated  volunteer recruitment website,  www.flucamp.com . By volunteering to take part in one of our studies in a safe, controlled, clinical environment under expertly supervised conditions you are playing your part to further medical research and help increase the understanding of respiratory illnesses.

 

Individuals interested in taking part in  COVID-19 human challenge study  research can learn more at   www.UKCovidChallenge.com .

 

 

For further information please contact:

 

Open Orphan plc

+353 (0) 1 644 0007

Cathal Friel, Executive Chairman

Yamin Khan, Chief Executive Officer

Liberum Capital (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker)

 +44 (0) 20 3100 2000

Ben Cryer/ Edward Mansfield/ Phil Walker/ Will King

finnCap plc (Joint Broker)

+44 (0) 20 7220 0500

Geoff Nash / James Thompson / Richard Chambers

Davy (Euronext Growth Adviser and Joint Broker)

+353 (0) 1 679 6363

Anthony Farrell

Walbrook PR (Financial PR & IR)

Paul McManus / Sam Allen / Louis Ashe-Jepson

+44 (0)20 7933 8780 or openorphan@walbrookpr.com

+44 (0)7980 541 893 / +44 (0) 7502 558 258 /
+44 (0) 7747 515393  

#ORPH Open Orphan – Challenge virus manufacturing contract

Open Orphan plc (AIM: ORPH), a rapidly growing specialist contract research organisation (CRO) and world leader in testing infectious and respiratory disease products using human challenge clinical trials, announces that hVIVO , a subsidiary of Open Orphan, has signed a substantial contract with an existing top 5 global pharmaceutical client to manufacture a virus for use in human challenge studies.

 

Virus manufacturing activities have commenced and are expected to be completed by end of Q3 2022. The Company is optimistic that a characterisation study and a substantial human challenge study would follow the completion of the GMP-compliant manufacturing process. The aim of a characterisation study is to establish the right dose of the virus that causes a safe and reliable infection in healthy volunteers. The revenue for the manufacturing process will be recognised in 2022.

 

The manufacture of new challenge viruses ensures that hVIVO has contemporary challenge agents available to meet the needs of the global pharmaceutical industry as they continue to fight the battle against infectious disease. Furthermore, this ensures the Company continues to enhance and expand its offering of human challenge studies, especially among infectious diseases where variants continually emerge and are often poorly understood.

 

Yamin ‘Mo’ Khan, Chief Executive Officer of Open Orphan, said : “We are delighted to have secured this challenge virus manufacturing contract, from an existing Big Pharma client. This contract is testament to our world-class capabilities in the entire challenge trial process, beginning with virus manufacture, through to characterisation study and challenge study execution. This contract illustrates our ability to leverage this to build deep, long-lasting relationships with our clients over significant periods of time.

“This contract is also a further example of the Company’s ability to secure repeat contracts from its existing base of Big Pharma clients, who have great confidence in our decades of world leading clinical trial experience. With this experience coupled with our expanded offering following the facilities expansion, I look forward to providing further clinical services support to the significantly enlarged and growing infectious and respiratory disease market.”

 

The Company also confirms that it has no plans to delist and is working with Liberum to complete their due diligence following their appointment as Nominated Adviser to the Company. It looks forward to confirming the completion of the required due diligence in due course.

The wording included in the announcement dated 28 April 2022 announcing the appointment of Liberum as Nominated Adviser was standard wording for all former clients of Arden Partners given the relatively short notice provided to the Company to appoint and complete take-on of a new Nominated Adviser following the recommended takeover of Arden Partners by The Ince Group plc.

Interested in becoming a volunteer?

 

hVIVO recruits many of its volunteers for its challenge study clinical trials through its dedicated  volunteer recruitment website,  www.flucamp.com . By volunteering to take part in one of our studies in a safe, controlled, clinical environment under expertly supervised conditions you are playing your part to further medical research and help increase the understanding of respiratory illnesses.

 

Individuals interested in taking part in  COVID-19 human challenge study  research can learn more at   www.UKCovidChallenge.com .

 

For further information please contact:

 

Open Orphan plc

+353 (0) 1 644 0007

Cathal Friel, Executive Chairman

Yamin Khan, Chief Executive Officer

Liberum Capital (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker)

 +44 (0) 20 3100 2000

Ben Cryer/ Edward Mansfield/ Phil Walker/ Will King

finnCap plc (Joint Broker)

+44 (0) 20 7220 0500

Geoff Nash / James Thompson / Richard Chambers

Davy (Euronext Growth Adviser and Joint Broker)

+353 (0) 1 679 6363

Anthony Farrell

Walbrook PR (Financial PR & IR)

Paul McManus / Sam Allen / Louis Ashe-Jepson

+44 (0)20 7933 8780 or openorphan@walbrookpr.com

+44 (0)7980 541 893 / +44 (0) 7502 558 258 /
+44 (0) 7747 515393  

#ORPH Open Orphan – Appointment of Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker

Open Orphan

Open Orphan plc (AIM: ORPH), a rapidly growing specialist contract research organisation (CRO) and world leader in testing infectious and respiratory disease products using human challenge clinical trials, announces that further to the announcements by Arden Partners Plc on 11 and 14 April 2022 regarding the loss of its Nominated Adviser status upon the completion of its recommended takeover, the Company has appointed Liberum Capital Limited (“Liberum”) as its Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker. Given the timing of the completion of the recommended takeover of Arden Partners Plc, the Exchange has agreed that subject to initial due diligence being undertaken, Liberum has until 5pm on 27 July 2022 to complete its full due diligence.

There can be no guarantee on the outcome of the full due diligence and its impact on Liberum’s decision to continue to act as Nominated Adviser. Accordingly, in such circumstances there is a risk that if the Liberum does not continue to act as Nominated Adviser following completion of its full due diligence and the Company has not found an alternative Nominated Adviser, the Company’s AIM securities may be suspended pursuant to AIM Rule 1. If within one month of that suspension, the Company has failed to appoint a replacement Nominated Adviser, the admission of its AIM securities will be cancelled.

Notwithstanding the extension of time provided in respect of completing full due diligence obligations at engagement, Liberum will continue to be subject to all the ongoing Nominated Adviser responsibilities under the AIM Rules for Nominated Advisers.

finnCap plc and Davy will continue to act as the Company’s Joint Brokers.

Yamin ‘Mo’ Khan, Chief Executive Officer at Open Orphan, said: As the market is aware, Arden Partners can no longer act as Nomad for listed companies from 29 April 2022 and as such, we thank them for their support over the past number of years. We are delighted to now be working with such a prestigious investment bank as Liberum.”

 

 

For further information please contact:

 

Open Orphan plc

+353 (0) 1 644 0007

Cathal Friel, Executive Chairman

Yamin Khan, Chief Executive Officer

Liberum Capital (Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker)

  +44 (0) 20 3100 2000

Ben Cryer/ Edward Mansfield/ Phil Walker/ Will King

finnCap plc (Joint Broker)

+44 (0) 20 7220 0500

Geoff Nash / James Thompson / Richard Chambers

Davy (Euronext Growth Adviser and Joint Broker)

+353 (0) 1 679 6363

Anthony Farrell

Walbrook PR (Financial PR & IR)

Paul McManus / Sam Allen / Louis Ashe-Jepson

+44 (0)20 7933 8780 or openorphan@walbrookpr.com

+44 (0)7980 541 893 / +44 (0) 7502 558 258 / +44 (0)

7747 515393  

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